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Short-term toxicity to fish

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Description of key information

The compounds from the amine heads category are soluble and caustic in aqueous solution. This last feature was critical in the study design of available reports and data.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Fresh water fish

Fresh water fish
Effect concentration:
1 825 mg/L

Additional information

For the amine heads category, four studies in regard to acute fish toxicity are available, covering 2 species and following similar experimental design (equivalent to OECD 203, static, no analytical monitoring). Only 2 studies however take into account the caustic properties of the category members.

The study on HMD performed by Munk (1992, No. 10F0733/9905156; supporting, RL 2) demonstrates that lethality due to alkaline pH occurs if not adjusted to the recommended range (6.5-8.5): A LC50 (96 h, Leuciscus idus) of 62.17 mg/L was determined without prior pH-adjustment of test solutions whereas the corresponding LC50 in case of pH-adaption was above the highest tested concentration of 215 mg/L and no lethality was observed.

In agreement with the above results, the study performed by Stahl & Hall (1985, No. HL-439-85) with fathead minnow and HMD resulted in a LC50(96 h) of 1825 mg/L (95%IC = 1237-2461 mg/L; Probit analysis). Very high concentrations up to 10 000 mg/L were tested and pH of the stock solution was adjusted to pH 8-8.5. Despite the lack of chemical analysis and the fact that the study was performed under static conditions, this is considered the key study (RL 2) for fish as it is the only study in which a LC50 was determined at reasonable conditions of pH. Moreover, test solutions of HMD have been shown to be completely stable under environmentally relevant conditions in a recent study on algae.

In two further studies rated not reliable performed by NATEC with DCH (NA 96 9410/1.3) and MPMD (NA 96 9410/2.3) on Leuciscus idus melanotus (only 48 hours exposure period) obviously pH was not adjusted. This resulted in LC50(48 h)-values of 200 mg/L (DCH) and 130 mg/L (MPMD). As DCH is the least caustic member of the amine heads category, the observed effect concentrations without pH-adjustment fit very well to the physicochemical properties of the members.